I often hear people say something like, “Joy is eternal. You can’t always be happy but you can always have joy.”
Lately, I feel the opposite. I can laugh with family and friends, smile to greet someone I know, enjoy a dinner out or a walk through my garden. But those happy moments drift unsupported over a dark abyss. I have no joy.
I want to believe God when He says Joy comes in the morning but there is no joy in this mourning. In this mourning, emptiness reigns, like a void that devours light and robs breath from your lungs.
Even in the midst of blessings, of sunshine and daisies and ice cream at the farm and family movies and just being an American with clean water and shelter and food in the pantry, I can be happy – grateful even – but I have no joy.
Does this make me a bad Christian? Is my faith too small? Am I far from God?
But wait. If God says, Joy comes in the morning, then something else must come before that morning, something other than joy.
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning
And there it is. Why do we so often leave off the previous verse? Why, even as followers of the suffering Savior, do we avoid the sharp edges, the hard realities of life?
Weeping comes. Darkness comes. Weeping. Darkness. And then joy. I imagine Jesus knew this more than anyone.
So while the essence of joy may be eternal, maybe sometimes our sorrow and tears drown out the feelings of joy, dousing the spark that warms and lightens our days.
Perhaps I need not add guilt to my grief. My joylessness is not a failure or a symptom of weak faith. And I am surely not far from the God who draws near to the brokenhearted. I find a bit of peace in that.
But what if this mourning never ends? How will I ever find a new morning? And if I can’t find the morning, will I know joy again?
Some losses change you. Some gaping holes cannot be filled. Some scars never fade.
But God says, Joy comes. Not joy may come, but joy comes. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not 30 days from now or even 30 weeks from now. But some day, some time, joy comes.
God never tells us how long the night will last. But He does promise it won’t last forever. Joy comes.
So I will try to hold on to hope. I will fix my eyes on the light that is coming for the heart that holds on. I will wait until joy finds me.
And in the waiting, I will remind myself, as the clock ticks slowly through the hours, that even if this mourning lingers long until the dawn of a heavenly morning, joy will come.
© Nichole Liza Q.
(Hope is What We) Crave by King & Country
As always your writings leave me speechless… I can feel your pain, your questions
, and your faith. You have suffered a terrible loss and these writing reflect so well the normal feelings and processes that need to be gone through…. Our Lord is there crying with you and he will be carrying you through it all.. In his hands, in his wonderful healing hands. Love you
Thanks Kathy ❤ ❤ ❤
I remember feeling like that when I was going through a depression. I hadn’t lost a loved one; somewhere, in my busy life, I had lost myself. It was a darkness, heaviness, and hopelessness, but one day, I found myself singing in the kitchen, and I knew I was on the road back.
Don’t let guilt add to your pain. Allow yourself to grieve and keep on trusting that God will bring you solace in His time. The joy is still there, just buried under the pain, like a little seed that will eventually surprise you and sprout back up.
Thank you for sharing. So glad you found yourself singing again.
You will, too, some day….and before Heaven.